The official name of the Territory is still simply the "Virgin Islands", but the prefix "British" is often used to distinguish it from the neighbouring American territory which changed its name from the "Danish West Indies" to "Virgin Islands of the United States" in British Virgin Islands government publications continue to begin with the name "The Territory of the Virgin Islands", and the Territory's passports simply refer to the "Virgin Islands", and all laws begin with the words "Virgin Islands". Moreover, the Territory's Constitutional Commission has expressed the view that "every effort should be made", to encourage the use of the name "Virgin Islands". About 15 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately 20 km 12 mi long and 5 km 3 mi wide.
British Virgin Islands
Maps - Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Ferry Routes - Best of BVI
In fact, Columbus named the island Santa Ana. Dutch colonists called it Ter Tholen, after Tholen , a coastal island that is part of the Netherlands. When the British took over, the name evolved to Tortola. He named the archipelago after the 11, virgins of the 5th-century Christian martyr St. The Spanish made a few attempts to settle the islands, but pirates such as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were the first permanent residents. In the late 16th century, the English , who had successfully settled the area contesting claims by the Dutch , established a permanent plantation colony on Tortola and the surrounding islands.
Things to Do in Tortola, Caribbean - Tortola Attractions
Click on one of the main islands to find out more information. Crowning Tortola is the tallest peak, Sage Mountain National Park, at feet, which exhibits the characteristics of a tropical rain forest. The Island has a population of 24, and Tortola is also the vibrant hub of the financial and government sectors with Road Town "The Small Town with a Big Heart" as its capital.
A report from suggested that, despite the popular perception, income inequality was actually lower in the British Virgin Islands than in any other OECS state ,  although in global terms income equality is higher in the Caribbean than in many other regions. The BVI are known as one of the world's greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a very popular way to visit less accessible islands. Every year since the BVI has hosted the Spring Regatta, which is a seven-day collection of sailing races throughout the islands. Only Virgin Islanders are permitted to work as taxi drivers.